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JAMA Patient Page
May 9, 2012

Kawasaki Disease

JAMA. 2012;307(18):1990. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.3940

Kawasaki disease is a type of vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels) that can affect many organs. Its cause is unknown, but symptoms usually start with fevers as high as 105.8°F in children younger than 5 years. It occurs most often in children of Japanese origin. Kawasaki disease can result in coronary aneurysm (an outpouching in the wall of the blood vessels that supply the heart muscle). This is the most serious complication.

No tests definitively diagnose Kawasaki disease, so physicians have to evaluate whether children meet certain criteria. They must have had a fever for 5 or more days as well as any 4 of the following: